For its dexterity and skill in whittling the vast catalog of Burt Bacharach-penned pop recordings into one manageable, comprehensive package, Rhino's three-disc The Look of Love remains the authoritative overview. The lion's share of its 75 songs appear in their definitive versions, and it's not only a must-have, but it's probably the only Bacharach set the average pop aficionado will ever need. But for true acolytes, the joy lies in discovering new and different adaptations of the maestro's biggest pop hits, which makes compilations like What the World Needs Now Is Burt! such a treat. Only a handful of its 18 tracks overlaps with The Look of Love, and the focus on soul-jazz, bossa nova, and funk guarantees a fascinating contrast with the more conventional pop singers who by and large popularized the songs the first time around. Indeed, the collection as a whole is a potent reminder of the sheer elasticity of the Bacharach/David songbook: from the Meters' funky "The Look of Love" to Young-Holt Unlimited's soulfully strutting "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" to Sergio Mendes' sun-kissed "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," the melodies adapt so perfectly that it's almost as if Bacharach wrote them for the acts in question.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny